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The Spanish Civil War in the Works of Nancy Cunard, Martha Gellhorn, and Sylvia Townsend Warner

Aguirre Alastuey, Maria Mercedes; (2015) The Spanish Civil War in the Works of Nancy Cunard, Martha Gellhorn, and Sylvia Townsend Warner. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

This work explores the impact of the Spanish Civil War in Anglo-American literature, focusing on the work of three woman writers, Martha Gellhorn, Sylvia Townsend Warner and Nancy Cunard, who travelled to Spain during the war as reporters and volunteers. The war in Spain generated an extraordinary cultural response from its outbreak in 1936. Poets, novelists, filmmakers, painters, and photographers from all over the world were inspired by the conflict, which many saw as a fight between democracy and fascism. Cunard, Gellhorn, and Warner sided with the democratically-elected Republican government, and warned about the effects that the triumph of fascism in Spain could have in the rest of the world. This dissertation studies several works that have been generally overlooked by scholarly criticism, such as Sylvia Townsend Warner’s After the Death of Don Juan, Martha Gellhorn’s articles for the American magazine Collier’s Weekly, and the poetry of Nancy Cunard, among other texts. It explores Cunard’s work as a poet and a publisher in the context of the theories of socialist internationalism that are at the core of the spirit of transnational solidarity that motivated many writers to travel to Spain. It then provides an analysis of Warner’s historical novel considering her vision of the war as motivated by class inequality and by conflicting notions of tradition and progress. Finally, it looks at the journalistic work of Martha Gellhorn and the evolution of the subgenre of reportage during the war in Spain. Their contributions to the literature of the Spanish war complement the works of authors traditionally considered as canonical such as Orwell, Hemingway, Auden and Spender, and provide new valuable perspectives that throw light on the different meanings of the conflict in the literature of the 1930s.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: The Spanish Civil War in the Works of Nancy Cunard, Martha Gellhorn, and Sylvia Townsend Warner
Language: English
Additional information: Third party copyright material has been removed from ethesis.
Keywords: Spanish Civil War, 1930s Literature, Martha Gellhorn, Nancy Cunard, Sylvia Townsend Warner
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of English Lang and Literature
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1463625
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